Limbaugh Equates VA Wait List Crisis to 'Death Panels'

Image: Limbaugh Equates VA Wait List Crisis to 'Death Panels'

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 09:42 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The scandal erupting over veterans dying while they wait for medical treatment at VA hospitals is a "microcosm of what Obamacare is going to be," conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh told listeners on his Monday program.

If the government cannot handle the medical care of America’s most beloved group – military veterans – the rest of the country is doomed to put its healthcare in the hands of the government, Limbaugh said.

He bashed Obamacare and what he characterized as a "modern embodiment of the death panel" after speaking with a caller who identified himself as a veteran who has been waiting for two years to be assigned a primary care doctor through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Limbaugh said the secret waiting lists – internal lists allegedly kept within the VA in an attempt to hide wait times for treatment – resulted in "deaths by attrition."

"Now we learn of these deaths by attrition … People on these lists assume that they're being moved ahead of the line," he said. "That's the purpose of the secret list, that they're going to really be taken care of. Because the backlog is so jammed, the line for treatment at the VA is so long that they've come up with this secret list business, and the people on that list think that they're essentially being moved to the top of the class, or the head of the line, in front of the line. And they're just being ignored."

The secret lists are tantamount to a death panel, said Limbaugh, adding that government employees receive bonuses for saving money by shrinking the number of people on the list, even if the shrinkage is the result of people dying.

"And if you’re going to have government employees bonused on that basis, then you would be not that far out of whack to assume there might some death panel at work here," he said.

If Americans choose to discredit the death panel theory, they must not ignore the "rampant incompetence" at play, he said.

"Obamacare can’t work, and everybody is headed for similar potential as these deaths in the VA," he said. "They just can’t do it. They just can’t run it."

Rather than have "real world, private sector experience" people with healthcare expertise running the show, the Obama administration has charged "bureaucrats that came from the top 10 percent of their class at some Ivy League school" with the task.

"There are people dying," Limbaugh said. "If you don't want to believe the death panels are the reason, then you've gotta believe it's incompetence. But you can't just say, 'Well, you know, excrement happens.' Cause you could be the excrement next time."

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